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HISTORJT    AfrfcD    HUMAN    RELATIONS

after the end of the Second World War that this too

ought to be regarded as essentially a conflict between

German and Slav—the greatest Slav war in all history,

he called it.   When the matter is viewed in this way our

vision certainly is widened to comprise the two giants

within a single survey, though this particular formulation

of the case, precisely because of its large element of

truth, might well inspire us with other kinds of misgiving,

But since at various times in the twentieth century it

was a matter of current speech that Germany and

Russia were competing for the domination of Europe,

and since even the blindest among us'can hardly fail

any longer to see that Communism and Fascism are not

authentic antitheses but are twin forms of the same

revolutionary  and  totalitarian   menace,   one   of the

greatest of the issues that now face the contemporary

historian is the question whether for thirty years we have

not construed our contemporary history within too

narrow  a  framework—whether  we  have  not  been

dominated too completely by short-period considerations

and by too constricted a survey of the map of European

forces.   We may have been as virtuous as we assert, or

at least we may have Ijeen well-intentioned, but both our

historiography and our diplomacy may still be open to

the charge of unimaginativeness if, while Germany and

Russia have been alternate menaces for over a hundred

years, we have failed to widen our vision—failed ever

to think of more than one of these possible menaces at

the same time, failed to envisage two possible enemies

and dangers at once, failed even to see how far they

could be made to act as a mutual check and thus cancel

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